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brave the rain on the red carpet. we began with a breaking news from the vatican. that is where local media say pope benedict xvi has announced he will resign. we are hearing he will step down on the 28th of february. he was elected pope as the age of 78. we will be getting more information on this breaking news story in just a couple of minutes right here on al jazeera. stay tuned. it just a reminder, we are hearing from the vatican that pope benedict xvi has resigned. let's find out more and bring in sabine joining us on the telephone from italy. what more could you tell us on this announcement the pope will be resigning february 28? >> it appears the pope made the announcement himself but the information is very, very sketchy.
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of course, this is really big news. having a poker resign is something we have not seen for hundreds and hundreds of years. it appears the pope gave the announcement in latin. that is all we have a moment. we are obviously going to be following this story very closely indeed to see how things develop. >> i understand information just coming in, and very scarce at the moment. but any idea as to why he is going to resign? and why he has made this announcement? >> at the moment, we have no idea of whatsoever why he decided to resign and why he made the announcement at this time. we do not know if it has anything to do with problems he may have to do with his help. whether -- health. whether he believes the time has come for somebody else to replace him. whether there are some interior
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motives within the church hierarchy for this. at the moment, no motivation whatsoever about his decision. >> what exactly will happen next after the pope's resignation? >> this is also something we have not seen in modern times. it remains to be seen what will happen after february 28. if he does step down, obviously a conclave will have to be held in rome for the election of a future pope who will obviously succeed pope benedict. >> once again, just to remind our viewers just joining us, we are hearing from the vatican, from the pope himself, pope benedict xvi, the roman catholic pope, that is, that he will be resigning february 28. as this news is just coming out,
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how is it filtering out in italy? is there any reaction? has anybody come out and said anything? >> it is very early but certainly the reaction will be of utmost surprise. the way we have all received the news was the pope made the announcement himself in latin. then it was picked up by the italian wire service first -- and then such a big news both pope will design grid -- will resign. of the first pope to resign in modern times. it was picked up immediately across the globe. it seems he will step down on february 28. it remains to be seen exactly what is going to happen after that. >> this po was elected, in fact, at the age of 78 -- pope was elected at the age of 78. >> he has been pope for now in number of years.
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it was always thought that he was not going to be pope for a very long time. but, you know, he is not a young man. he is 85 years old. he may have decided to take this step because of health reasons, or there may be other motives. the motives that have led to the decision that he announced today, that he will in fact step down, are still unclear at this time. >> we are still waiting to hear, in fact, on the reason behind this announcement and the public's resignation. just once again, a reminder to all of our viewers just joining us, we are hearing from italy, from the vatican, pope benedict xvi will be stepping down as head of the catholic church. he is set to be stepping down february 28. i will just ask you again -- we are hearing perhaps this may be
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due to advanced age. any idea if that is indeed the case? >> it is unclear whether the whether the motive behind the decision announced by pope benedict today was because of his health. he has, in the past, has had minor issues which involved his heart. the announcement has been viewed with a huge surprise by everyone. not only inside, but outside the vatican and across the various countries in the world. this is a figure that is a very big representative of the catholic community all over the world. we have not seen a pope resign in modern times. it is very unclear how things will develop. there is no question that at some stage, a conclave will need to be held to elect the future
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head of the catholic church. so, things are likely to develop very quickly. now that the announcement has been made by pope benedict. >> according to reuters news agency, they are saying the pope is due to resign due to his advanced age. that is according to reuters. he is the oldest man to become pope in more than a century. >> that is absolutely right. now the pope has been in power since 2005. he is a pope who has been in power for now seven years. it really comes as a huge surprise he should resign. we don't know of any other pope who has taken this decision for hundreds of years. the way it has always been put
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to the world is that popes are there for life and they do not step down. this is really something that was totally unexpected. reuters, as you said, is reporting that it is because of his advanced age. pope benedict may have decided it feels it is best for someone to replace him and for him not to continue to head and make decisions for the world's catholics at this stage. >> how has he fare over the past seven years? what kind of reaction and we respect over -- expect over this announcement? >> well, we are certainly all very surprised, and certainly the journalists who covered the vatican developments every day from rolm -- and this is a pope was certainly we have seen him get more and more tired.
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although, many of us remember the pictures of john paul -- pope john paul ii who was extremely old and ill when he died. the supposition here is that pope benedict doesn't want to see himself in the same position we saw pope john paul ii. there may be some reasons regarding pope benedict's health that we are aware of at this time. but certainly we have seen it pulled benedick grow increasingly tired -- pope benedick xvi grow increasingly tired. we have seen him use a way of moving up the basilica of a moving platform because he was too tired during those ceremonies to actually walk down the i yelled up to the altar. -- down the aise up to the
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altar. these all decisions that were taken not to tire the pope particularly over christmas. which is one of the busiest times in the pope's schedule. easter is coming up and that is also a very busy time for pope benedict. he has obviously decided this is too much of a heavy schedule for him. and he will in fact resign, as a said, on february 28. it remains to be seen what may happen after that and who will be pulled for the very important easter holidays. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. talking to us from italy. we are getting news from the vatican that pope benedict xvi, the roman catholic pope, is due to step down. that will happen february 28.
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this has been confirmed by the vatican. let's bring in alessandro speziale, an expert on the vatican. are you with me? >> yes. >> tell us, first of all, your reaction to the news just coming in right now. >> it was quite unexpected. it was not totally out of the blue. he said if he felt he could not carry on -- carry on with this very taxing job, he would resign. when he announced today he was going to do so, it was quite unexpected. >> do we know for a fact that the pope is resigning due to his advanced age or health or bring is there another reason? >> in the speech in latin he did to the cardinals today to announce as resignation, he said
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after having prayed and meditated for the long -- a long time, has come to the conclusion he does not have the strength to carry on with this task any more. >> who happens next? who will be elected as pope? what will be the procedure from here on when he steps down forever -- steps down february 28? >> at 8:00 p.m. that day, the it -- they will start meeting been no real pontiff. all activity in the vatican will shutdown and the senior cardinal will be the caretaker. at the conclave would be in a few weeks. 130 cardinals from all over the world will come from all places to arrange their schedules. the vatican is giving a press conference in a few minutes and
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that thing we will have more details on the dates and procedure that will take place. >> we will be listening in closely to that press conference you are talking about in just a few minutes. ok, we will leave it there for now. thank you very much for talking with us from italy. jazeera'sg in al barbara -- are you with me? >> yes. >> just tell me, first of all, where you are. the news just coming in about the resignation of pope benedict xvi. what are you hearing? >> i am watching a lot of the italian media both on tv and online. what is telling is how it took everyone by surprise. in italy, there are specific vatican correspondents whose job is to follow the developments of the vatican and even they seem to be taken by surprise. as alessandro was saying -- we
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will hear from father -- from the spokesperson, will give a news conference and about 15 minutes time. but of course, the speculation has already started. considering pope benedict's age, amid a's and obviously a frail, older man -- the health is one of the main ones. but have been -- having listening to some of the -- the does not seem to be the main one so far. the pope had to cancel certain trips. since pope john paul ii, the study traveling widely run the world. it can take a toll when a man is of a certain age. he did have to cancel a recent trip. but when you think of how frail pope john paulii was in the later years, he still never
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resigned. he passed away. so, it is quite strange for a pope to resign for health reasons. the other points other people are leaning toward, there may be reasons why the pope decided to resign, would be the various problems of -- the catholic church has faced or a lot of the problems that have come to a head during the pope's papacy. one started to come out well before he got elevated to pope, the scandal of pedophilia and the rights of the church, the scandal that truly acquired global dimensions. we heard cases in europe, latin america, the united states, and across the world. that is one pressure the papacy has faced. the other one has been perhaps more recent and -- the various financial allegations, allegations of financial mismanagement within the vatican. we will find out more details when the news conference starts at about 15 minutes. but we do know pope benedict xvi
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himself a few years ago has always said if the pope should feel whatever reason he could not go on, whether moral issues, psychological, or by physical, the pope should resign. people resignations are very rare indeed. if i am not mistaken, the last one to resign was in 1415. so, it is a very strange thing and a very rare thing. >> that is what i wanted to ask you about. we have not had any papal resignation. >> it is a surprise but also, i guess, a big challenge because use live the pope, according to the catholic religion, he is effectively god's representative on earth. not the sort of job you resign from. if you remember, " john paul ii the died in 2005, the
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predecessor, it was a very long illness and it was obvious to everyone the pope was not well. but the vatican has a way of keeping things going, keeping up assad going, at least, up until the pope passes on and then a new one is elected. his is a very strange situation. unknown situation. my vatican sources are telling me that it is probably not going to be the same procedure that would have happened had hoped benedick died. using that is followed by a mourning period and then a conclave, calling to run the princes of the church, 100 or so carnots that represent the catholic church from the world. a sealed themselves and decided to should be elected. the conclave obviously will have to happen regardless. we will not have a mourning period because the pope has not passed away. very interesting. we have the date of the
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resignation, february 28. i think we are still very much looking in for what shape the conclave will take. the correspondents were pointing out in the christian calendar, roman catholic calendar, easter is coming up and certainly the church will try to make it that the cardinals are not taken away from their own countries during easter, the holiest period in the christian calendar. but seeing this is a resignation as opposed to a death, we can presume the vatican had control over it and all the things -- the timing of easter -- would have been taken into consideration. >> off i am looking at some news wires coming in. according to a vatican official, he is saying that he expects the period between the resignation and the election of his successor to be "as brief as possible." so, this is according to the vatican official.
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this is quoted in the reuters news agency. also, reaction coming in from germany. a government spokesman is saying that he is "move to" moved by news of the's recognition -- "moved." we will be expecting gentleman chancellor angela merkel to be reacting later. but just to remind our viewers what is going on right now. we are hearing that pope benedict xvi, the roman catholic pope, he has announced his resignation, and that is going to take place february 28. not yet confirmed whether he is resigning due to health reasons, due to his advanced age. we are still trying to find out exactly the reason behind the public's resignation. but speaking of age, pope benedict is the oldest pope to a been neglected. >> it is very interesting.
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you have to put it in the context and think back to 2005 when pope john paul ii died. an incredibly popular pope who has been pulled for more than 20 years. there was an acceptance that perhaps the catholic church had to modernize and ago in a different direction. maybe get a pope was not european but maybe the developing world, where the catholic church is also very strong. but for the -- the election of pope benedict, seen as a vatican and cider, was always seen as an interim pope. 60'spaul ii's was in his and the pope benedict xvi was in his 80's. perhaps nobody really wanted or expected this papacy to last very long, so that perhaps this transition of the catholic church could then have been with a new pope who perhaps was not so much part of the pope john paul ii era.
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it will be very interesting to see what the new conclave brings up. you mentioned we heard from the vatican that they have said they expected a period of a new election to the elevation of a new pope to be as brief as possible. a lot would be logistical because bringing the cardinals back to rome means bringing the 100-plus senior clergy from around the world to abandon everything where they are in their own countries and make their way to rome. that in itself would take a little bit of time. usually it happens by surprise because, of course, you cannot plan a papal deathh. ere, but will have a few weeks to plan. it is not of the interest of the church, especially in light of resignation, to be without a poke at the helm for a long time. i am sure the imaginations are underway at the vatican to make sure that the new elevation of the pope happens very quickly. interesting to note that its
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elite next weekend, the 26, 25, italy itself will be undergoing elections. so a time of huge upheaval in rome. >> just stand by for a second. just to remind our viewers we are hearing right now. in fact, what prompted the pope's resignation. in a statement, this is what he said. his "strength" is no longer adequate to continue in office. he also cited his advanced age as a factor. he says he made the decision independently and is open " resigning in full freedom." case says that he is "fully aware of the gravity of this gesture." barbara, i can imagine that people in italy -- not now -- not only in italy but roman catholics around the world really surprised reacting to this news. >> absolutely. the single biggest the nomination, religion, so 1
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billion catholics -- of the 2 billion christians in the world, 1 billion are catholics. so it is the biggest the nomination and really global. huge catholic communities in europe, africa, latin america, growing in asia. this would be a shock because, as we mentioned earlier, there was not really any memory of papal resignations. there were a few through the centuries but talking the most recent one was 3 or four centuries ago. this is something not only unexpected but also on chartered territory. i think people will not really know how to feel about it. the vatican has said the pope was obviously failed. we could see it, a man in his -- the pope was obviously frail. we see it, a man and his 80's. and pope john paul ii was incredibly frail and in his last years perhaps all of his mental
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faculties were not all there. he has not raised -- did not resign. some catholics are used to seeing an ailing pope, a frail hope perhaps, into the end of this life but not used to seeing a resignation. it will be very interesting to hear the news conference that is about to start in a few minutes, coming out of the vatican with father lombardi, the vatican spokesperson. i am sure he will give more details then. i think the speculation will go on. the question is, can really be simply health? which is very, very likely because the pope and is an elderly man. or other reasons pope benedict xvi felt it was for the good of the church for him to stand down. that is the phrase that has been used already, that it was for the good of the church and that he has made this personal decision. it will be very interesting to see what is said at a news conference. >> ok, barbara. we will be covering the news conference for our viewers right
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here on al jazeera. the state to the for that. in the meantime, barbara, thank you very much for that. let's bring in peter williams. he is joining us from the newspaper "catholic voices." what do you make of this announcement of pope benedict xvi resignation? >> it is very surprising to a lot of us. no one was expecting this to happen. although there were rumors in might have been. it may be the case that he saw what happened with john paul ii and would rather step down now. we just do not know it we will see it when he publishes a letter explaining why he is going through this. this is something that has not happened for a very long time. even conditionally. so, something that will be interesting to see the process happening. the laws of the catholic church
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-- allow for this. it is required it is freely made and properly manifested. not necessarily to be accepted by anyone. he can resigned and a moment he likes. it is not entirely clear what exactly constitutes proper manifestation. it letter, given to a council -- it seems to be more likely. but other than that, it appears we will see is exactly the same procedure that would happen if the pope had died. in other words, the college of cardinals -- >> let me ask you about the procedure,. our correspondent who was just talking to us on moneyline was a saying -- on the line was saying logistically it might be difficult to just bring in the cardinals back to rome. what happens next after the resignation of the pope? >> presumably -- again, this as
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not happen for quite a while, so we do not have a president -- but as with eight people deaf -- a
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Al Jazeera World News
LINKTV February 11, 2013 5:30am-6:00am PST

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Benedict 9, Us 9, Vatican 8, Italy 7, John Paul 6, Rome 4, Reuters 4, Vatican Official 2, Us From Italy 2, Latin America 2, Latin 2, Europe 2, Alessandro 1, Benedick 1, Pope John Paul 1, John Paul Ii 1, United States 1, Cardinals 1, Pontiff 1, U.n. 1
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